Sep 10

Is AMTC a Scam?


AMTC, Broadway Song

After my friend and I took our daughters to the AMTC auditions, we wondered, “Is AMTC a Scam?”

My friend and I suspected that everyone at the auditions got callbacks, since both of our daughters and another girl we knew got callbacks.

Also, we were surprised at the high prices to attend the convention.  So we were skeptical and began investigating to determine if AMTC could be a scam.  (See more on this topic in “Should Your Child Attend Talent Contests?” and “What is AMTC?“)

What is a scam, really?

The definition of scam, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, is:  a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation.

It is hard to decide exactly when something is or is not a scam.  If you are misled and promised certain things that are not provided, then it is a scam.   Also,  if you are charged much more for something than what it is really worth, it is a scam.  But how do you define how much something is worth?  That is a difficult thing to do.

Do Industry Professionals Actually Attend AMTC?

My friend actually called up some of the talent agents, talent managers, and casting directors on the list of AMTC attendees and asked them if they regularly attended AMTC.  They all confirmed that they did indeed attend. She asked them other questions and was satisfied with their answers.

Does Everyone Get a Callback?

Still, we wondered if every person who auditioned got  a callback.  I asked the talent scouts and was told that not everyone was selected to attend the convention.  I was never absolutely able to verify this, but at least one person told me they knew someone who was not called back.

I was also told of one person who was not “selected” to attend but asked if they could attend anyway. They were allowed to attend. Was it wrong for AMTC to allow them to attend if they really wanted to attend?

Our Decision About AMTC

After much soul-searching and many discussions with friends and family, my husband and I did sign our 5-year-old daughter up to participate in AMTC. My friend planned for her daughter to attend but changed her mind since she thought her daughter was not ready for an event like this.

There were two sets of classes (one for adults and one for kids and teens) being held at Millie Lewis of Charleston to prepare the participants for the competitions. My daughter and I attended the weekly classes from October to January to help prepare her (and me) for the convention being held in January of 2003 in Charleston, SC (AMTC is usually held in Orlando, Florida.)

We worked hard on preparing her for the competitions, practicing frequently at home. We watched videos from previous contests. We got costumes and other clothing ready and planned hairstyles. I also read all the materials I could find and asked questions to help ensure that we’d be prepared. (See “How Do You Prepare for Talent Contests Such as AMTC?” for more on how to prepare if you do decide to attend.)

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays passed, and the next thing I knew, it was time for the convention.

Staying in the Convention Hotel

We planned to drive over for the various events since we lived only 30 minutes to an hour away. But as the time grew closer, we decided to stay in the convention hotel. We shared with another girl and her mother, so the price was not bad.

We both enjoyed the various events going on in the hotel. I don’t think we would have had the same experience if we had not stayed on site at the hotel–my daughter enjoyed swimming with the other contestants, eating with the other contestants, and hanging out with them in the evenings. It was very convenient to be able to go back to our room to change clothes, freshen up, rest, or just to escape for a few minutes.

The truth is, my daughter had the time of her life at AMTC, and absolutely loved every minute of it. I found the seminars taught by the industry professionals to be quite informative.

And for our family, this was a life-changing event. My daughter did well, and the end result was that we ended up here in L.A. (And soon a detailed account of our experiences will be available for your reading pleasure.)

But I know of others who were very disappointed and felt cheated and unhappy when the convention was over.

So what is the answer to the question “Is AMTC a SCAM?

AMTC is not a scam in terms of making false promises.

What does AMTC promise?

What AMTC promises is that you will compete in front of numerous industry judges from around the world — talent agents, talent managers,  casting directors, and other entertainment industry professionals. And on that part they do deliver.

If you compete and do well, the results from the convention can be life-changing.  These things are all absolutely true.

AMTC Does Not Promise:

  1. To make you a star if you attend.
  2. That you will get a talent agent if you attend.
  3. That you will get a talent manager if you attend.
  4. That you will get a job if you attend.
  5. That you will be “discovered” if you attend.

And it is important for you to seriously consider the fact that none of the above things are promised to you if you attend.

While the things above can actually happen as a result of AMTC, the chances of them happening are somewhat slim. And it is important that you understand that.

Should the industry judges be paid for participating in AMTC or other conventions?

Many people are critical of the fact that the industry judges are paid and at least part of their expenses are covered by the convention.

It would be nice to think that the industry professionals just go to AMTC or other events at their own expense to find new talent. But for the most part, they don’t.

The way I view it, though, is that all these people are trying to make a living in the entertainment industry. I don’t have a problem with them receiving some compensation for the time that they spend “working” at the convention.

Besides working as judges for the competitions, they also present informative seminars to the contestants and their parents and provide useful feedback to those trying to break into show business.

Many of these same people teach classes or workshops or give seminars in L.A., New York, or wherever it is they live, and often get money for those as well.  While they might occasionally do a seminar or class for free, that is pretty rare. And some of them travel around presenting workshops and seminars, and people pay to attend most of those as well.

Let’s face it, people do most of what they do in life in order to get paid.  Sure, there are charities that people work for out of the goodness of their hearts, and that is admirable.  But people who work in the entertainment industry as a career have to make money at it just as people who work in any other industry do.

Are they honest in their selection process?

Another thing that many people question about AMTC and other similar talent contests is whether the people who run the events and solicit for the events are honest in their selection process.  Do they select people to participate who have absolutely no chance of ever being noticed or selected for anything in the entertainment industry? It is suggested that they encourage people to pay a lot of money to attend when they know in their hearts that those people have almost no chance of being noticed during the convention. And that is really the questionable part of it.

Is it okay that the founders make money from running AMTC?

The people running the events make money from the events, but I personally don’t see that as being a scam. They really do deliver what they promise with AMTC.  It is a very well-run, family-friendly and safe event.

And you know how much it will cost up front as that information is furnished to you. Holding the AMTC events is what they do for a living and they work hard at it.

And there are people who would not ordinarily be able to afford to go  to AMTC who get scholarships, sponsorships, or financial aid to attend AMTC .

There are many things about AMTC that are right.  You can check out the AMTC website and get a good handle on what AMTC believes in and what it does. There is another site that discusses the AMTC auditions that has much useful information.

Some important things to keep in mind when you are considering attending AMTC are:

  1. Money. If you cannot afford to pay to go to AMTC, don’t go. Don’t spend money you need to live on in the hopes that your child or you will become a star. Try a different avenue to get into show business.
  2. Financial Aid. If money is tight, ask those who “invited” you to the audition or those in charge of AMTC about the possibility of a scholarship, sponsorship, or other financial aid in order to go to the event. There might not be any available for you, but it does not hurt to ask.
  3. Best Possible Outcomes. Understand what the best thing you can possibly get out of going to AMTC is, and then really think about whether or not that is what you want or what you expect! If talent agents, talent managers, and casting directors are really interested in your child, are you willing to move to where they are — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago? — Especially knowing that there are no guarantees on how much you will make or even on whether you will even ever get a single paying job in the entertainment industry?  Use this to help you make the decision of whether to go or not.
  4. Other Routes to Showbiz. Investigate other methods of becoming an actor before you pay the money for the convention. Look for a talent agent on your own in your own hometown or some place nearby. You can practice the craft of acting/modeling locally before trying to compete in L.A. or New York.  Working with an agent where you currently live might result in more small  jobs, and that work might just get you the break you eventually need to make it in showbiz. And face the facts. The competition is fierce in the bigger markets, so starting locally where the talent pool is smaller makes a lot of sense.
  5. Your Goals.  Analyze your goals, and if you really just want to be in the entertainment industry locally, an international talent competition may be a waste of your money. You can pursue local markets on your own without the help of such a huge talent competition. Face the facts. The competition for jobs is fierce in those bigger markets. You are better off working the smaller markets first even if your goals are to make it in L.A. or New York.
  6. Worst Possible Outcomes. Think about how you’ll feel if you leave the convention without winning a single award and without getting a single callback from one of the industry professionals. It does happen that way many times…  If you think you will be happy with the experience you gain and with the information that you get and that you will enjoy it regardless of the outcome, then good for you.

Do Your Research

If it is a different event than AMTC, it is important that you thoroughly do your research and make sure it is not a scam. While there are other conventions besides AMTC that are legitimate,  there are many scam operations that make promises that they cannot and do not keep. Do your research for AMTC as well to make an informed decision about whether you think it is something you want to and should do.

Other Less Expensive Ways to Get The Information You Need to Start a Career in Show Business

You can get into show business without attending a talent convention like AMTC, and it will be much less expensive. For a comprehensive DVD course on show business and acting, take a look at The Actor’s Journey for Kids and The Actor’s Journey (for adults). These two DVD sets contain essential information about starting a successful career in the entertainment industry from people who know very well how to go about this.

The Actor’s Journey is presented by over 100 industry professionals sharing their perspectives on the entertainment industry. The DVDs were created by Stanley Livingston, a producer and director in Hollywood today, best known for his role as ‘Chip’ on My Three Sons, a very successful sitcom of the 60s and early 70s.

To your success,

Debbie Sikkema


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  1. N. Ross

    This is just another John Powers type thing….for the VERY beginner only. As far as Christian based…hum…well, Christian films are usually non union and don’t pay much if any…music is just as much a gamble. I am a working actor and basically you would be better off taking acting classes around town and doing community theater to develop your skills. Look up the comments on John Powers…this is the same thing and someone thought it would look different with a “christian twist.”

  2. Bob

    Thank you all for your comments.
    I too drove my daughter to one of these, 700 miles each way in our case.
    I think if you had the “Splash Cash” doing this might be ok; it wouldn’t hurt, except for taking up your time and money.
    I appreciate how even handed many have been to AMTC; it is always hard to judge someone’s motive. They do give you a shot, but like someone smart above said, like the lottery does; and a $4500 lottery ticket with similar odds!
    I think the wisdom here is to prepare locally and find a good agent locally when you have prepared yourself.
    Usually in life, when there’s a free seminar, and at the end you are asked for $6000 (cost for both my daughter and I to train/audition) quickly, it’s a scam. You should take your time and think about it, then do it; not decide so quickly after just one audition. It would be different if you took a 3 month class from them, then the top 10% went to a Shine-type event.
    Also, one thing that sticks in my craw; they touted live at their “seminar” and on their contract that the Gaylordpalms rooms are “discounted” my wife looked at gaylordpalms.com and the price from their website was the same $150. I don’t see a discount there, if it was $100/night, ok. To be fair, could these be better rooms? Who knows.
    To the one sweet sister above who didn’t get a callback, maybe that was God’s protection or timing. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s hard even for the young good looking ones to get a break into Satan’s domain (which is what the entertainment industry has become), you might look at that as a great favor, otherwise you may have just spent tons of time, truly, to just have executives not be impressed.
    AMTC may be real, or not quite a scam, but like the plumber that charges $600 for what a normal plumber would charge $150, but sings a Psalm while he works. If you agreed to it, and he did the work, it’s not a scam; but you could have done it yourself for $25 or paid a normal plumber $150; in that sense, it’s just very costly and the odds for God’s people are very low in this business. You can prepare yourself and try at the open auditions. That’s what we are going to do.

  3. George

    Ripoff. They sell services plain and simple they are in it to get your money. Will call 95% of the people back after the addition to tell them they have town and want them to come back that’s just the way to get your money so you services.
    This adventure will cost you $5000 to $6000 and you will get nothing.

    Don’t fall for it don’t get too proud don’t fall for this RiPOFF!!!

    If your child has talent spent $2000 the local singing or dancing coach.

    Stay away from this money grabbing enterprise.

  4. Vanessa

    Just so you know AMTC is NOT an agency, what you are paying for with AMTC are classes and materials for furthering and enhancing your area/s of talent. You also obtain an album of a minimum of 150 pictures (this takes time to accumulate even when you are with an agency). Then, they determine if you will be prepared enough to attend the SHINE conference, and that is where the agencies are. At SHINE you perform in front of agencies. Now obviously this is pricey, and yes I understand that this is a lot of money for classes virtually so you definitely have to take time to make your decision, but you just have to realize that you are NOT with an agency when you do AMTC and you’re not guaranteed to be with an agency after AMTC, so it is a gamble for the fact that you may or may not end up with an agency. It is NOT a scam because they never state that they are an agency and they never promise anything except the classes and the photo shoot. So just be careful as to realizing that they are not an agency but realize that the amount that what you are paying is approximately the amount you would pay to take classes on your own it’s just that these classes are all within. But yes, if you don’t want to take classes and enhance your skill set, then I would advise not doing AMTC but just going with a local reputable agency, and if they are considered an agency then NO you should not be paying anything. Just realize that if you do decide to go with a local agency and you do want to enhance your talent, that they can refer you to classes pertaining to your area of talent, but keep in mind that those places that they refer you to you will be paying out of pocket for those classes. So just weigh your options but realize AMTC is NOT an agency and simply classes/materials to enhance your talent, and agencies will NOT ask you for money.

  5. Maggie

    I attended AMTC in both 2008 and 2009. During this time, I was a high school student, planning for college, with no money to waste. Because of AMTC’s gracious, mission-minded approach to the industry, I received just the right among of scholarship and was able to attend. AMTC and the SHINE Conference were the greatest experiences I have ever been part of. They have changed my life, and have changed the lives of every person who walks through the program

    Does AMTC guarantee that you will become a celebrity as soon as you join their organization? No way! Nothing will guarantee that. Then again, as Christians, becoming a celebrity should not really be our goal. We are called to shine for Christ in the midst of those who do not know him.

    Does AMTC give performers the tools, training, and connections in order to shine for Christ in entertainment? Absolutely.

    AMTC is the perfect example of an organization that knows the entertainment industry, cares about their performers, and truly desires to bring the light of Christ into the media. Again, I say all of this from first-hand experience. Not from simply seeing an advertisement, hearing a commercial, or reading “rip-off reports” online. Every person that I know, who have been part of this ministry, support it 100 percent. Dig deeper, and give Christ the benefit of the doubt 🙂

  6. Marissa

    3/6/15 Yes it’s a sad scam and if I could give you one word, it would be RUN!
    I have a extremely talented child and I feel for this, just like many before and after me have and will. They are very cautious with their wording and the wording changes from your first meeting, to your first launce. My husband saw red flags from day one, I saw hope that a Christian company could help us get our child in front of VIP’s as they call them, and would get her ready for that but the truth was, it’s just not fact. My heart bleed as I watched people who are so good inside but have not much or any chance of making it. I felt so stupid the whole time I set at launce, knowing I had let myself be scammed by these people and as soon as I returned home I called my credit card company and told them so they could cancel my card, so no more money could be charged to my account. So many red flags, and so much untruth to this company. Everything you read on here is true, and I’m praying for each of you. Please Please Please don’t do this.

  7. Marissa

    Sorry for a few misspelling grammar mistakes, tried to correct but not sure how to do it.

  8. Brett Reese

    Marissa, you will now be getting an excited phone call from Adam She, AMTCs executive director. Maggie, Vanessa and anyone else posting in favor of amtc; There are PLENTY of people who are totally disillusioned with amtc. My motivation in writing is not sour grapes… my daughter IS CURRENTLY MAKING MONEY IN SHOWBUSINESS…but she didn’t get there through amtc. and honestly i don’t know that anybody through amtc has ever gotten a truly major role. MY motivation is the heartache I’ve seen on sooooo many parents and kids faces and knowing they honestly never had a chance. I am thinking of running radio ads on every christian radio station amtc advertises on explaining whats going on. I don’t see how Carey or Lexi or Adam can make an ongoing living at this. it would just kill me.

    I was in your exact position a couple of years ago and I’ve posted to this same thread previously. My daughter receivd 24 callbacks. Including from Trump modeling. she is 5,8. Nothing from any of those callbacks. Unless you expect to get many more call backs than this it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect you’ll get anything from AMTCs VIPS. common sense right? AMTC did show us that my daughter may have a future in a minor way in modelling. My daughter is now a paid model in Denver… but not with ANY of the agency’s or vips at AMTC. NOTHING AMTC did helped her get this agency and the work.

    AMTC is no more a scam than literally thousand of other “opportunities” in show business. And it is my sincere prayer these poor parents who think highly of their child’s talent realize this before theyre lightened by thou$ands of dollars. The road to stardom is so enticing. Thousands of very smart people know how to manipulate parents’ mindset turning it into dollars, and basically never money or notice. one key question to ask them is “name a star you made” and make them answer it.

    IF ANYBODY WANTS TO KNOW OUR STORY; HOW WE REALLY DID GET SIGNED WITH AN AGENCY ….AND..!!… GOT WORK FROM THAT AGENCY, EMAIL ME reese at pirate1047. com i’m not going to take any of your money but I will be very real with you. Adam and Lexi She, please don’t contact me, love Brett Reese

  9. Marissa

    Thank you Brett, we have been blessed that doors are opening for our daughter , but not from anything AMTC has done. I really did not want to comment on this but something inside of me said I needed to. So many wonderful people were at that launce, people who give so much of themselves to make our world a better place. The money will always be replenished but stealing people’s hopes with false lies to make a buck is just wrong.
    I really wish everyone the best.

  10. Dawn

    I have been following this thread since 2011 when my daughter went through. You can read my comments if you scroll back. My daughter was nearly 17 back then, now 21. She has been a working model and college student who will graduate in May 2016. Since then, we have been blessed with a continued association with AMTC. I cannot more heartily disagree with the naysayers. It changed both our lives.

    I feel it is also important to point out that AMTC has evolved (over the last 4 years) from a ‘for profit’ business into a non-profit, making many of the previous comments (good or bad) on here irrelevant. Most recently, starting in January of this year, there is a new “Pay What You Pray” initiative that allows people to pray about an amount they can afford (and/or step out in faith) to make the training and convention more attainable for those who feel called to walk part of their journey with AMTC. I encourage anyone doing research and auditioning to look at both sides. AMTC is perhaps not for everyone, but their motives and desire to glorify God are pure. They do not promise you super stardom, but they have many, many success stories. I listed some in my previous posts, February 18, 2014 at 11:23 am. While these people are not ‘household names’, I assure you they are making a difference for the kingdom of God in the entertainment industry. That is a higher purpose than just achieving whatever you define as (worldly) success.

    A recent effort geared toward promoting human trafficking awareness is 8 Days (the movie). This movie cast many, many AMTC grads, premiered nationwide and is traveling to South Africa on Monday to premiere there. You can learn more at 8daysfilm.org

    AMTC and those associated with this ministry are putting their faith into action. Visit the AMTC website, do your homework, pray and be comfortable that your decision is the right one for you and your family.

  11. brett reese

    As with all entertainment, subjectivity is both the catalyst for amtc as well as the reality.
    amtc runs maybe 2000 competitors through every year. I would like Dawn to give me names of actors or singers or models who are currently even making a living fulltime in the industry who GOT there through AMTC. let alone household names. I think a fair guess is one person in 10,000. I can tell you my daughter received as many as any, the coveted “callbacks” from VIPs at her Shine. Most receive 4 or 8 callbacks average. You compete for VIP callbacks. She received around 24, I don’t remember exactly.

    Since AMTC we have not spent a dime, but many unscrupulous “agencies” have contacted us through the “marketing” at amtc’s SHINE. The thing that bothers me is all these agencies take on chameleon-like traits much like AMTC switched to when they realized recruiting “Christians” would gain more trust …and businss. Its how we were sucked in. Now a new hook is the pay what you pray. Which allows them to not only take all the undergifted, but now also so many with overdeveloped dreams and underdeveloped pocketbooks. Look at the market amtc was losing who couldn’t afford it! NOW they can invest their last 10 pennies and “trust” God. for their one chance in 10,000 – not to be famous and truly have influence and impact on the entertainment world, but simply to hopefully eek out a living (which is the most amtc has given anyone. If youre a singer, I will say categorically, DO NOT go with AMTC. period.

    If you want a happier life, learn now that entertainment is subjective. Even if your child or you is truly gifted (and good parents ALL believe they are) it’s like winning the lotto at best. You are far better off moving to LA or New York auditioning (for free!) and let those VIPs decide if they want you. (they'[ll even let you shake their hands!) And btw, $4k will go a long ways toward a pretty good acting or music school.

    Why not effect the industry by becoming friends and witnessing to those already famous actors or singers? An honest examination of our true motivation to be in this industry might pay eternal rewards. We are to “die” to ourselves! In FAME, we become the product. In itself not sinful, but I can’t help but wonder if its a little like the old camel through the eye of the needle.
    As I grow in the Lord, I question the inner motivation of becoming famous in order to affect our world for Him. Jesus did NOT strive for this. He spent 3 years with 12 guys. Read One Solitary Life about the deliberate humble meekness of Jesus. There was theatre and nonelectronic mass communications during Jesus time. The first sin was Satan’s wanting to be famous and become the music director of the heavens!! I”m not making a statement, because I”m truly not totally sure about the fame/pride factor.
    I AM sure about AMTC.

  12. Brett Reese

    Would love to know who Dawn really is.

    Great information from all other comments. good decent people.

  13. Ginger

    What I found interesting when I wen to one of their gatherings is the video they showed. They pointed out a number of people that supposed to have gone through AMTC and tried out for The Voice, American Idol, etc. The question is if AMTC works, why are these people going through another system to help do what AMTC claims?

  14. Ginger

    I just looked at my post on this blog from 2012. Needless to say, my feelings about AMTC have totally did a 180. I unlike their page a long time ago.

  15. Dawn

    Would love to know who I am? That’s pretty irrelevant to whether I speak truth or not, but…
    *I love the Lord
    *single mother of a soon to be teacher (the mode – feel free to google her and find/like her page – Demi Craven) and also a chemical engineer son
    *master’s degreed professional
    lots of other (irrelevant) things
    Assuming you are sincere in wanting to know me better, I sent you (Brett) a facebook friend request.

  16. Brenda

    I did AMTC and SHINE in 2013. At that time there were 7 online classes to take, and unlimited “Launch” weekend training events where people were coached and guided by industry professionals. I did all of my online work and went to three launch weekends and two VIP presentations. I drove 500 miles each way for each of these events. I knew it was an educational program to learn how things in the industry worked and to hone my craft.

    My daughter did not get called back at our audition. I did.

    After they had cast their vision, they actually had asked people who were only interested in fame or money to go, because AMTC is about making good bolder.

    I was surprised by two things. 1) people who I would not have chosen at callbacks who through the process became amazing, and 2) People would show up to launch weekends without having done any of the required preparation. Even once I got to SHINE, there were people who had not completed their online courses or even read the directions for how to prepare for individual competitions. If I’m going to spend this kind of money, I’m going to get every last bit of advice out of it that I can. I did.

    So money breakdown:
    I would have paid 3-500 per launch weekend. I would have paid 600+ for the photo shoot with hair/makeup etc. how much would you pay for online multimedia coursework? Let’s say conservatively 1000. We’re up to $2500.people pay $1500 to be in showcases all the time without someone helping them know what’s going on. Then I went to Orlando and competed, won an award, got two callbacks who both wanted me to live in LA. It was a great experience. People were positive, faithful and true.

    I got exactly what I paid for. I’ve been doing some work locally and I still go to hub reunions to connect with the friends I’ve made and see what they’re doing….and they bring in a casting director from New York to play improv games with us. AMTC just keeps adding value. I still get the email devotions, access to the website with updates, opportunities to connect and maintain professional relationships, opportunities to pray for others in the community, reunions, AMTC casting site with audition notices, and a team of people to run things by to make sure a contact or agency is reputable. Allot this ongoing support is FREE.

    AMTC is an education and a community, not just a showcase. If you just want a showcase and fame, go somewhere else. If you want to be a positive influence wherever God puts you, AMTC can help. It’s not for everyone.

  17. Gabs

    Stay far far away from AMTC!!! It is just sorry that they still run it!

  18. Tamika

    I am supposed to attend the audition this weekend. Is it worth it bc I have to travel pretty far? Please be honest. I have been praying about this for the past few weeks and part of me doesn’t feel the release, but I also question myself if I’may punking out. Been asking God to give me a direct answer.

  19. Jimmy L

    Tamika, Please do not go. It is not a scam. But it’s pretty darn close. None of the VIPs want to be there. If you want to become an actor for Christ…find a good acting school. If you want to sing likewise. Even modelling; you basically have to move to LA or NY.

    The best advice I can give you is to realize that the entire industry makes money through the stars in the eyes of all except the stars. AMTC may be particularly egregious in that they claim you need to be bold for Christ and incentivize through evangelism. They have never produced a star that’s continuing to work successfully in the business on an ongoing basis. This is out of thousands and thousands per year that enroll with AMTC. Now they change their status to nonprofit, which just means they pay themselves a huge salary and have no investors to pay dividends. They are NOT truthful or they would list for you truly big stars. If they are doing all they say, shouldn’t they be able to name model after model and singers etc? They’ve been around for decades!! Maybe 100,000 attempts and is there even a couple that you’ve heard of that are making a difference for Jesus? (famous)

  20. Dawn

    Not sure where you got your numbers sir, but they are inaccurate. Can you cite your sources?

    With regards to salaries paid (and revenue), the Better Business Bureau offers the following information:

    Please put the weblink above back together when you paste it. Pasting a complete link in these comments delays posting of said comment

    If you scroll backwards through the comments a ways, I listed off quite a few notable names. I can now add to that list Julian Silva who opened as Young Simba last week in The Lion King on Broadway. I know him personally. His family members are big supporters of AMTC. You can easily find his facebook page if you look.

  21. Allison

    I just recently went through the audition process for AMTC. The best part about it was that Carey Lewis was the woman to actually audition me. Listening to her speak was not only insightful but probably one of the most inspirational speakers I’ve heard from. But this is the point that I would like to make.

    I am 21 and I chose to go through the program. It is not an agency. But this is why I want to. For everyone that says that media is unreachable, you are so wrong. Jesus can reach anywhere, he has no limit. We have been discipled to reach those people. Acting is one of my greatest passions. And I knew years ago how hard it was going to be for me to get into it. I was mostly afraid of my faith in that I would lose it. But AMTC stands for Actors Models and Talent for CHRIST. If you don’t have the correct motivation then you should not be there. If you are looking for fame and fortune then maybe that’s why it hasn’t worked out for you. It is a mission. If I fail or if it proves to not be my calling then so what? I’m not going to be bitter about it. It’s just money. God is the only one who can truly provide and if this is something that can help me to help others reach him then I will spend as much as I need to. I spoke to Carey personally and had a true and honest heart to heart with her. She is so amazing and has such a passion for The Lord. This opportunity is for me to serve The Lord. This is an opportunity to serve HIM, not yourself. God is my motivation. If I don’t make it through this then it’s not where God has placed me but the friendships that I will make that will help to keep me grounded with the great commission in mind will be well worth any amount of money I spend. If it’s a mistake then too bad. At least it’s furthered my relationship with The Lord. I will do whatever it takes to help others to reach him in whatever my mission field is. This was an opportunity for that, so I took it. I’m sorry to those who had no benefit from it, maybe your heart wasn’t where it needed to be or it’s just not where God wants to use you. They are making the opportunity for Christians to reach a very dark place and for that I will support with any amount that I can. As a Christian you NEVER cast stones unless you are perfect and the only perfect person is Jesus. Refer to John 8:1-11 if you need to be reminded. I believe AMTC’s motives to be honest. They are at least TRYING to get people there and if not they are at least giving an opportunity for Christians. You should never cast stones. And I am willing to take that opportunity. Even one saved heart will be worth any amount of money I spend. It’s not about the money or the fame or the pride. It’s about the mission. This is an opportunity to SERVE so that we may be good and faithful servants. I will never cast stones at an opportunity, no matter what the motives are.

  22. meray

    I highly agree with Brenda and Allison. They both put my thinking into words. ..

  23. Lakeesha ellis

    To the one that was negative about amtc just because it didn’t work for you and your daughter does not mean it will not work for the next person
    God was putting you through a test to see your reaction of rejection and maybe God didnt want you to go that route he already had a plan for you, you can’t assume anything or put mouth on anyone if Carrie and her family was running a scam let God deal with them God wanted this to happen for them because of the passion and what He has given them to glorify His name he will always exposed the non chosen
    Anyone putting negative feedback down well discourage someone and there dreams you would never always get a yes but that a NOmay make you feel rejected but it should direct you to another place
    God has plan for of us..

    Im one of the one that has a calling in the modeling business

    Dont give up

    Just because it didnt work for them it may work for you.
    Have faith in all you.
    Through Christ that strengthens me

    Have a bless day

  24. Tina Bell

    Please contact me, 720 422 2907. I’m already in this and how can I pay it off to get to my future. Please contact me by telephone or email.

  25. Silvia Aizprua

    My daughter signed up and a few days later decided she could not commit. She called AMTC and a person said that they will put her account on hold. She figured they will refund her. She called again and requested the refund and she was told that after 3 days they won’t refund. Why was she not told this the first time she called? She lost her hard working money. I believe this company calling them self Christians should be ashamed of scamming young people and parents out of money. They did not loose anything. My daughter did not cause them any loss. They should have refunded her. It would be different if she had been in the program and taking classes. But it was just a few days. I emailed a few people and they won’t even email me back a response. Parents and kids be careful trusting this company.

  26. Dawn

    I signed one of these legitimate contracts for my minor daughter when we signed up. The refund policy is very clear in the performer agreement that is signed at the time of registration. If you are within 3 days of registration they give a full refund less a $250.00 administrative fee and coaching fee.

    This is a very reasonable fee because right after you register you receive training which is a bargain at that price. If you had to fly to New York, L.A. or Nashville and do the work to find these industry current coaches, you would better appreciate their services and not be afraid.

    If you change your mind, within 4-30 days then you forfeit the initial deposit of $500, which is what appears to have transpired here. It is not a scam when you sign without fully considering what you are agreeing to and then have to live under those agreements.

  27. Valerie

    I went to an audition 2 years ago and they called me to attend, I didn’t have the $ to continue (thank God) so everything ended there. When they advertise they make it sound as if they are an agency…I just don’t like the fact that you have to pay thousands of dollars to be able to audition. This company has a very good marketing strategy to convince people to sign up. I spent the whole day there and it was a complete waste of time. I would not recommend anyone to go unless if you have $ and want to have a good time and meet people.

  28. Nimi

    Thank you some much. I’m going auditing on Saturday to get in so now I no what to expect

  29. Anonymous


    I must remain anonymous, for my life is complicated with unsaved ex always fighting for child support and custody. Carey Lewis, is a sister in Christ, who prayed for me and checking in with me via e-mails and even had her prayer team praying for my divorce custody trial.

    God finally called me to AMTC audition in 2014, after numerous years my 3 year old son at that time in 2010 started nagging me to take him to audition. I kept shutting his request down for years. When my son was 6, we heard the commercial on 99.1 radio. I heard it clear as He said in Him still voice, “Take him to this audition!.” I did and he received a callback.

    I had no money as a single mom of 4 home schoolers working my business at home part time. I applied for a scholarship and received partial. I fundraised thru my church and my cost was only $1,500 plus Orlando Trip cost from NY/NJ in 2015, which I could manage it by borrowing from my tax return in advance.

    While at Shine, my son, my children and I had the time of our lives; he made it to every single final so he performed for all finale showcases. He received two VIP CHOICE Awards, a scholarship, and 17 callbacks from agents and managers everywhere!

    He started with 2 agents out of 17 in NYC and is still with one same female agent he signed, whom we adore her ever since I sat in her seminar and she called him back; his sisters were signed as her models afterwards. I though had to fire of one male talent agent from the callback, after working with him for 7 months, for he was a nice gay man to begin with but got verbally abusive on me in the presence of my children when I told him that I might have to work that day for my annual important business event, instead of taking him to set; this agent did his jobs but I could not take the abuse (coming out of abusive marriage, this man was the red flag, so the Lord said no.) Now my son’s current agent, her friend who also called his back at Shine wants him after 2 years has passed, but still praying about it because he was kind of mean to my son at Shine and I do not want another agent which I have to fire him in the end…

    My son is an active child actor in NYC who gets multiple audition requests per day from his or potential clients (production companies) which I have to decline some due to conflicts; he gets job offers of which some I decline due to his or my schedule conflicts, pay scale too low or SAG conflicts. I do all the direct bookings with his clients, although just a handful is thru his agent, so I do work for my son as his agent and manager and that is my second job now. I only learned “how to” thru sitting in a seminar of a Talent Mgr working at SHINE. God did use her seminar so I could run and operate as an agent and manager for my son myself, keeping all 20% to us! I negotiate his pay, travel reimbursement, even parking covered in NYC, lodging for multiple day shoot, making sure productions comply with child performer laws and invoicing overtime when they fail to abide due to any failures or errors during shoot so that my son is compensated for his time.

    Often times, I have to reschedule my work day with business clients since I have to be on set a lot in NYC or Philly. We work hard and pray hard in NYC, going to production auditions for films, TV, commercials, VO, print, industrials, fashion show, callbacks, fitting, rehearsals, so you know there is a lot of downtime but the rewarding is the shoots, then I do invoice his clients, so we get checks in mail and his trust account receives his shares and I get mine. It is a cut throat business which I am now used to knowing how to handle predicaments thru bookings and rejecting auditions and job offers to stay faithful to our God, showing Productions our Jesus. My son refuses to do theatres, since he does not want to sing, although he gets direct invitations from casting directors to audition for lead roles.

    Needless to say, the cost of Orlando trip and shine to FL from NY/NJ was paid off within the first year of Shine and he continues to work as a busy child actor shining the light and love for Jesus, ministering to productions and celebrities (those who curse on set)!

    God bless Carey Lewis and all the coaches who believed in my son. I remember this when she said, “If he does all the homework, then it is 100% chance,” said to me at the orientation. AMTC is not for everyone; those agents who called you back, you may not end up signing but it is an educational tool and resumé builder. If it weren’t for AMTC training and all the rewards I could put on my son’s resume, he would not have gotten his first job, nothing. I give all thanks to AMTC. Like your college degree, which you spend money for it; however, ultimately, it is not the degree itself which has value, it is what you do it with your degree upon graduating to pursue your dream world.

    My point of this letter to you is that AMTC is for those who are called according to His Purpose. You only go if God told you to go because He will use SHINE to change your life! Why? God who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. He will direct you every step of your way thru AMTC and make you succeed! If you don’t hear from Him and/or feel not released from the fear or confusion, then don’t go. God is not a God of confusion; only the devil makes you confused. I pray that this will help those who are trying to make decision.

    TBH, the cost of AMTC was reasonable after hard working, fundraising, and scholarship grant. It is attainable for anyone if you try hard. As a business owner who runs events, I can see why it is expensive by just looking at their operations; space rentals, salary for coaches and admins, overhead, cost of all the crews running events, VIPs lodging and per diem, I can attest that they are making meager amounts of salaries and just making to survive thru contestants tuitions. It is just like any other business; they have to pay bills, and so as mine has to pay bills. I cannot be picky about who my clients would be; I am in performing arts and I would take anyone to make my ends meet who are good in art or no good in art; or I won’t have my home for my children. AMTC needs contestants to pay their overhead; this doesn’t make them a scam business or fraudulent entity; it is detrimental survival to remain operating.

    Even if those who are not talented get called back from AMTC, it is still providing their end of services; education in entertainment industry. It is up to you to pursue and I reiterate, you don’t need an agent to land acting jobs; anyone can pursue in this business; filming productions need all sorts of people, all sizes, genders, all ethnicities, all ages, all looks (drop dead gorgeous, good looking, medium looking and unfortunate looking), Down syndrome actors, dwarfs, amputees; just got out of chemotherapy, just about anyone and that is my point.

    AMTC teaches you how to get into this business, help prep resumé, nice headshots for you to keep, trainings and ministry and that is what you are paying for. I still get invitations to free seminars and reunions which we have no time to attend since my son’s work never stops; even on weekends, he is either shooting films and commercials or auditioning or attending director’s sessions, or shooting audition tapes if we are home, or vacationing! (Not to mention, on Friday, he shoot a film in Brooklyn for 9 hours, went to a director’s session for another film at 7pm in Greenwich Villege and went to another audition for commercial at 8pm in Midtown South, and yesterday and today, he had to shoot 4 scenes (13 pages) audition tape by memory for a TV pilot, series regular, lead role. Please know that I booked this audition and all others on Friday.)

    In Christ, you are destined for Victory! If you are called to fight for your dream, go for it! Good luck with each and everyone who will go for the Lord’s calling! He is a real deal! AMTC is a tool God uses for those who are called according to His Purpose in the entertainment industry. God who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. I reiterate: In Christ, you are destined for victory!

  30. Tina

    I was reading your thread and was wondering if this would be really the right route for me. I am not really looking to be famous or get any dancing or singing parts anywhere ( I am a dancer and singer), but I am looking for good constructive criticism. I am on a ministry team of 15 young adults evangelizing youth all over Wisconsin via retreat ministry. I choreographed a dance drama similar to the “Everything” skit, and I really just want some help in improving my ministry to reach more teens. I have been told that I have a special gift in bringing people peace when I dance and sing especially to those who do have no peace in their lives. I also just want to help build His church! Is there anything else anyone can suggest to me? There aren’t a ton of opportunities to just take dance lessons around me (I’m 24 and a missionary). How else can I get involved with ministering with dance? Are there other talent agencies or help?

  31. Brett Reese

    FAMOUS . AMTC is NOT the way to do it. Jimmy was correct. The entire fame industry plays off of the stars in YOUR eyes. After my daughter got 24 callbacks at SHINE she worked in modeling but like the other famous names above….NOT becuase of AMTC. almost in spite of it.

    Just because someone famous happened to go through AMTC doesn’t mean AMTC should get ANY credit. Over 2000 AMTC members per year and maybe 2 in 20 years has achieved BECAUSE of AMTC. fat odds.

    Let’s face it most motives (fame) are misplaced anyway, which really makes AMTC nefarious in its claims to have changed to a Christian” ministry. Just easier targets.

    In our experience AMTC got us nothing… with 24 callbacks even one of 3 at SHINE accepted by the TRUMP agency.
    Save your money. Save your heartache/hopes. And concentrate on the true joy of serving others- not being famous. Jesus accomplished a bit….without an ounce of fame during his entire lifetime.
    (by the way amtc “training” was, nicely put…. a joke.)+++++

  32. Brett Reese

    btw, ANONYMOUS nice try. Let’s not continue to play deceitful games. Let’s have a name. You hold no weight without being authentic.

  33. Anonymous

    Hi Tina-

    I hope that this e-mail finds you well! AMTC is probably not the way to go in your case but I don’t know your level as a dancer so I can’t really say much but only consider if you have the money and think you are the most talented one in your area and want to learn the industry, experience of competition, excitement and fellowship from all over the world at a Christian Competition. As for me while at SHINE for my little son, it was like living in a dream and I did not want that dream to end and I learned so much thru attending seminars. If I had the money, I would go back in a heart beat to get more and better agents to sign him. It is very expensive so you should fundraise and apply for a scholarship which they do provide. Honestly, I have not seen competitive dancers or singers at least when I was around in 2015 Winter Shine; except form one breakdancer which the Lord really blessed him with amazing talent but even he only got 9 callbacks and they were all in LA, and it was his second SHINE; I think he was moving to LA from NY due to the callbacks (he did commercials and movies as a dancer). So, I must say this; if you do not have an amazing talent in dance and singing, DO NOT GO. It will be a waste of your money, unless you just want to fellowship and just party along other Christians just because you can and it will still be fun. Talent agents will be a hard one for just dancers or singers though because they want actors first. They would not have many gigs for you to submit you for unless you want to be in chorus for Broadway plays but I could be wrong about this ’cause my son does neither sing nor dance. Lastly but definitely not least, it does not matter what I or we in this thread think really, it is what the Lord wants for you which matters most. Thus, please pray so that He can reveal it to you if AMTC is for you. He will let you know; He can open the doors no one can shut, or shut the doors no one can open! As for me, if I did not go to AMTC and learn about this industry, I would have been financially broke by now, because my business never made enough money to support the household and the child support went down due to my ex being unemployed plus I can’t really work a full time job since we are home schoolers. Thus far, the Lord has blessed us thru so many bookings of my little son’s filmings/commercials/TV so that we are going on our first cruise to the Bahamas! Praying for you!

    Hi Brett-

    Thank you for your e-mail. I pray that you and your daughter are successful and blessed. Amazing that she had 24 callbacks! What a talent! God bless you! I must reiterate that due to the custody court and child support dispute between me and my ex, I am unable to reveal my son’s name. I am sorry… My son’s booking is non stop, especially in May, for a commercial season, looks like he just made a national commercial final cut with usage (can be up to 3 years) and another big one is casting this week. I cannot afford my ex coming after his earning, for I get paid by my son’s checks in addition to my business. Thank you for your understanding. BTW: I am blessed to know that you read my e-mail in its entirety.

  34. Teresa

    I have a question, My daughter is with AMTC and I never heard of a scholarship. How do I find out about scholarships? I have no bad things to say about AMTC but I do feel things could be improved.

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